Unmarked is the sequel to Unbreakable. I waited a whole year for this sequel so my expectations were a bit high. I loved Unbreakable so much, you can...moreUnmarked is the sequel to Unbreakable. I waited a whole year for this sequel so my expectations were a bit high. I loved Unbreakable so much, you can read my review here. It took me by surprise because I am not the biggest fan of paranormal books but I was instantly sold and fell in love. So I was a bit scared of Unmarked not being on the same level as Unbreakable. However, Unmarked was even better. It was so good, I couldn't put it down. This is fast becoming one of my favorite paranormal series for sure.
In Unmarked, the gang is all there, Kennedy, Alara, Priest, Lukas, and Jared. However we have a new addition, Kennedy's best friend Elle. I love this group's dynamic. Lukas and Jared are twins, Priest is a genius engineer and the youngest, Alara is kick butt, provides the funds, and always appears tough on the exterior, and lastly is Kennedy, our main protagonist who I've grown to like even more in this book. Of course there's Elle and she's Kennedy's cheerleader but also devil's advocate. In Unmarked, they're dealing with the consequences of what happened in Unbreakable (being vague so not to spoil anyone). There are so many gasp worthy reveals in Unmarked, my head was in a spin.
I love everything about Unmarked, from how gripping the plot is, to how logical and understandable every action by this group is made. I loved how they always stuck by each other, and I especially love their friendship. Good characters, plot, and flow are so important in books. Unmarked had all. These characters really hold a close place in my heart and I love them so much. Kami Garcia's writing is a perfect example of an enjoyable prose. The third book is definitely going on my most anticipated sequels of 2015. (less)
The Jewel is both unique but also a cliche in the dystopian genre. Don't get me wrong, I love the concept of this book, and the ending! tha...more3.5/5 stars
The Jewel is both unique but also a cliche in the dystopian genre. Don't get me wrong, I love the concept of this book, and the ending! that was very shocking, however there seems to always be an underlying plot mold that dystopian authors always follow nowadays and The Jewel wasn't fortunate enough to escape that. Our main protagonist, Violet is a surrogate, this took a while to explain and I liked that there wasn't info dumping from the beginning. Violet can manipulate things, such as color, shape, and also growth. At a young age everyone is tested for these skills and if you do possess them then you become the properly of the government, grow up in facilities until your auction day where you are sold to the highest bidder, think sex trafficking but instead of that, it is surrogacy. I liked Violet, she was logical, wasn't impulsive but still had a little rebellious side to her.
I was warned that there will be insta-love in this book and while I didn't feel it was 100% insta-love, I really disliked the romance and how it changed Violet. To be totally honest I wanted Violet to fall for someone else in the palace and was secretly begging the author to take this non cliche route as opposed to the one she ended up taking. However like I have been doing lately, I completely ignored the romance and focused on the plot. The characters in this book are definitely complex, the main one being the duchess, the woman who bought Violet. She is initially made out to be evil but then I glimpse something heartbreaking or vulnerable from her and I started rethinking my initial judgment. I also didn't know who to trust, I even thought some people who were helping Violet escape were actually going to betray her so kudos to the author for keeping me on my toes and surprising me there.
The writing flowed easily and, as I mentioned, there wasn't any info dumping. There was enough information withholding to keep you guessing but not frustrated. Finding this balance for dystopian and mystery novels is very important. There was also a balance between dialogues, monologues, and descriptive paragraphs. Honestly I don't require a book to be completely filled with dialogues but I do require its monologues and descriptive paragraphs to be interesting. As for the ending, I honestly wasn't expecting it and again, I'm happy the author was able to surprise me. That ending alone is going to make me want to pick up the sequel and continue on reading about this world and Violet. Another book similar to this plot is Reckoning by Kerry Wilkinson, with the whole being locked up in a palace and wanting a way out. It's interesting to see dystopian books now are leaning towards this sort of plot line. (less)
It was PERFECT! Stayed up till 3:30 reading it. Just.. Loved every page of it. So so good! Maggie Stiefvater is a genius. Love love Cole St.Claire and...moreIt was PERFECT! Stayed up till 3:30 reading it. Just.. Loved every page of it. So so good! Maggie Stiefvater is a genius. Love love Cole St.Claire and Isabel
I loved Sinner so much. Way way more than I thought I would. I read the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy back before I even know what YA meant. So I was pretty fuzzy about the details of that trilogy and worried I would need to read recaps before starting Sinner but I can tell you that you don't even need to read the trilogy to enjoy this book. Sinner is about Cole, the rockstar turned druggie turned wolf we meet in the previous trilogy and love to hate.. but also love to love.. pretty conflicting feelings about him to be honest. However Sinner just made him a permanent love to love for me.
Sinner is set after the trilogy ends, and Cole is now on his way to Isabel, the girl he was tangled with during the trilogy. I think those two have a very.. complex and charged love hate relationship. Cole is always on the brink of losing control, of going back to his rock stardom destructive behavior and Isabel.. Isabel has been through so much crap she's become hardened, pessimistic, and wary of people and life. Putting those two together in a room.. woof.. recipe for an explosive. I love complex characters. I love love Cole's monologues and thoughts and his narration. It always feels one second too fast, his thoughts are always in a whirlwind and keeping up with him is exhilarating. That's the best way I can define my reading experience of this book. Of course it is told from both Cole and Isabel's POVs and I also liked her chapters too.
You're not really going to read anything negative about this book because I'm pretty much obsessed with it at the moment. Sinner is more focused on the characters and their struggles than the paranormal aspect. It pretty much reads as a contemporary except for the occasional werewolf-ism. Cole is a pretty cocky but charming guy and Isabel tries to push everyone away but she's really sweet. Those two pretty much suit each other and I loved reading about them and their relationship. What's different in Sinner is that those two already knew each other, were together, but left each other. It isn't a happily ever after ending where as soon as they get together everything is perfect. This isn't a beautiful story or romance, it is fractured and can never be perfect, but who wants perfect right? I love Maggie Stiefvater's writing, she writes better and better with each book. I can't wait for Blue Lily, Lily Blue because The Raven Boys is AMAZING and I can't wait to pick up my copy of The Scorpio Races! (less)
I had high hopes for Salt & Storm. Avery, the main protagonist, believes her destiny is to become the next monro witch. However her estranged moth...moreI had high hopes for Salt & Storm. Avery, the main protagonist, believes her destiny is to become the next monro witch. However her estranged mother comes one day to where she lives with her grandmother and takes her away. Several years later, Avery is stuck with her mom and stepfather. Her mother put a binding spell on her that forbids her from looking and going to her grandmother. Avery also has another skill and that is interpreting dreams. One night, she has a dream that seals her very soon future with death. The first part of this book is Avery trying to break the spell, something she tries by seeking the help of Tane, mysterious tattooed sailor who knows a lot about magic.
I personally felt the plot went nowhere. I expected actual magic involved but got nothing. It is four hundred pages that could have been written in two hundred pages. The romance is insta-love of course so I will not even bother mentioning it. However I need to point out that there’s a difference between insta-crush and insta-love. Insta-crush is something I’m totally for if it’s written right and doesn’t immediately jump to insta-love.. However insta-love from the get go is a big no for me. That is one sure thing that will definitely turn me off a book.
I didn’t like the direction the author took with the plot and felt it really was a shame because so much could have been done with it. There is no way to redeem itself plot wise because this is a standalone. At some point I kept on reading just for the sake of reading. The whole book was her searching.. searching to break the spell, searching for her grandmother, searching for 100 other things. I’m just disappointed. If a book is being pitched as a witch/magic book.. it should contain that. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book and I was overall disappointed in everything about it, from the plot, character development, to the romance. (less)
I was initially very intrigued by Westerfeld's book. There was so much hype around it and i have to admit I, in turn, started lusting after it. When I...moreI was initially very intrigued by Westerfeld's book. There was so much hype around it and i have to admit I, in turn, started lusting after it. When I got an ARC from Simon & Schuster Canada, I was over the moon. It is intimidating, at 600 pages, but I started it. I loved the concept of the main protagonist being a soon to be debut author publishing a novel that we also get to read. The first chapter opens with the main protagonist, Darcy, dissecting the query letter she wrote and sent that got her the two book deal. The second chapter though, that chapter is one of the best beginnings in a novel I've ever read. It is technically the first chapter in Darcy's novel. It hooked me. I was addicted and I wanted more.
I had so much expectations for Darcy's novel but I have to admit, it went downhill from the first chapter. I am not a huge fan of paranormal novels, so it takes a lot for me to praise one. Unfortunately, Lizzie's story (Darcy's protagonist), did not impress. It was a very cliche paranormal novel and by halfway I was just not interested and only read to go back to Darcy's world (it is told in alternating chapters). Darcy, however, was very interesting. Being a blogger and more involved in the whole publishing process, it was so exciting seeing Darcy going through it. I am not an aspiring writer but I feel people who are would get sucked into Darcy's world even more than I did.
I have to admit though that Darcy as a character frustrated me. Her sister, Nisha, calculated a budget for her to stay within based on the advance she received from the publishing company, however from the get go, as soon as Darcy moved to New York, she completely ignored the budget. I was wincing every time she overspent, bought a plane ticket, or forgot something important. Girl don't be so careless and irresponsible! I am more of a Nisha so that's why that really frustrated me.
One thing I wished for is if Westerfeld made Darcy write a mystery thriller instead of a paranormal one. There is a bit of a mystery in the paranormal and I can honestly say that was the only thing that kept me going. A thriller would have suited that book SO WELL. I even mentioned it to the person I was buddy reading Afterworlds with and she completely agreed. It would have definitely alleviated the book in my eyes. Afterworlds wasn't bad, it had its good and bad moments. I feel the infusion of the publishing process will definitely capture the eyes of many readers. (less)
i'm very disappointed in this one. Hated all the males here and the way they objectify and blame women for everything. Even disliked the ma...more2.5/5 stars
i'm very disappointed in this one. Hated all the males here and the way they objectify and blame women for everything. Even disliked the main protagonist.. she was TOO forgiving. Ending was too perfect.. everything was A-OK by the end. eh.. review will be posted closer to the release date.(less)
Reckoning by Kerry Wilkinson is pretty much a roller coaster with how I felt about this book. I feel if I divide the book in 50 chapter sections, each...moreReckoning by Kerry Wilkinson is pretty much a roller coaster with how I felt about this book. I feel if I divide the book in 50 chapter sections, each section would have a different rating. Overall I did give it four stars, but it also teeters towards a 3.5. Reckoning is about a girl who gets picked to be an Offering to the king, along with 29 other 16 year olds from the south, east, north and west. Everyone thinks being an Offering is a privilege and a ticket to luxury however they couldn't have been more wrong. The king that everyone would sacrifice their lives for is a drunken excuse of a man with a horrible mean streak. I'm saying he would let two offerings battle it to the death as a sort of entertainment to him. Puking so he can eat more of the luxurious food while all the country is on a strict ration plan. He disgusted me so much. The main protagonist, Silver, was very likable. I won't say I really connected with her but I think she was very smart and didn't settle. I was rooting for her to find a way out and liked how she wasn't selfish and only cared about herself. I have to say the twist towards the end of the book was crazy! Just such a fantastic twist from Wilkinson. Another thing worth mentioning is the relationships in this book. Some people that I personally thought would become Silver's enemies actually turned out into good friends later on. I like how people aren't evil or perfect (though the king is 100% EVIL!). The romance though, nothing worth mentioning since it isn't really prevalent in this book and I liked it like that. This is definitely a very fast paced book and while I had some issues with it, such as how realistic some situations and decisions were, I think it was a pretty solid first book in this dystopian trilogy. It didn't remind me of any books, except for the beginning of The Offering, but it took its own unique plot line and I am very excited for the next book! (less)
I got into Then and Always thinking this will be a cute chick lit.. yea the synopsis hints at some sadness but I am used to chick lits being fluffy bu...moreI got into Then and Always thinking this will be a cute chick lit.. yea the synopsis hints at some sadness but I am used to chick lits being fluffy but oh boy, this is anything but fluff. There was a lot of crying.. just a heads up. Then and Always was very emotional and confusing in terms of how the book and story was told. I'll get more into the details below but overall it was a good book and the ending is the most memorable and emotional part of the book for me.
The story begins with Rachel, along with her boyfriend and a couple of her friends going to eat dinner one last time together before they all start heading off to their first year of college and following their paths. That night, something tragic happens that Rachel can't get back from. It literally had me taking a break because of the crying. I needed to breathe in and out and learn to relax so I can get back to reading. When I do, It is forwarded a couple of years later, Rachel still suffering from the aftermath of that one tragic night, however she goes back to her hometown for the first time since that night but again, this girl is unlucky, she has an accident (i'm being vague, it isn't car related) and ends up in the hospital. But.. wait for it, in the next chapter, it is Rachel living her life as if that tragic night never happened.. and she's also going back to her hometown but something happens that, again, makes her end up in the hospital.. this is when these two parallel timelines merge.. Rachel wakes up and she's the Rachel of the world where the tragic night happens.. but she wakes up in the world where the tragic night didn't happen. Did I lose anyone? I know I lost myself halfway through this paragraph and had to consult my copy!
So yes, book starts there, and the story continues.. I kept praying that maybe the world with the tragic night was a nightmare all along, or there are some supernatural elements in this book that allows her to choose her world, but alas, that is not it. It is much more complicated, much more heartbreaking, much more infuriating. I hate not knowing, I also found myself skimming through paragraphs because I felt there are a ton of unnecessary tiny plot lines that I couldn't care less about and the glaring plot line, the one I need the answer to is hidden from view. I liked Rachel, I especially liked her dad as well as her best friend, though I wished we got more of her. I can't say I wasn't frustrated with Rachel, especially in the end.. I was crying and just silently yelling at her for making this decision (yes i'm being secretive).. basically, pick it up if you want a unique chick lit, one that isn't all about fluff. It is short and bittersweet. I will definitely check out more books by Dani Atkins in the future. (less)
This is another young adult contemporary that tackles meaningful issues while at the same time keeping the themes that make contemporary YA novels so...moreThis is another young adult contemporary that tackles meaningful issues while at the same time keeping the themes that make contemporary YA novels so loved (at least by me). In this novel, Sloane is a junior in high school and loved making films. Her dream is to go to film school. The book opens up with Sloane getting the chance to film another video; the first having gone viral and captured the attention of a sponsor that wanted her to enter a competition for a film school scholarship. Sloane is so excited and takes the offer, the catch though is that she has to work with Isaac, who she’s always thought was cocky and apparently has bad history with.
This is when the main complication of the novel is introduced… Sloane finds out bald round patches on her head and starts freaking out. It turns out she has a hair loss disease. Sloane has always taken pride in not caring about her appearance or what people think of her, especially since her stepmother cares too much about it (she’s a makeup artist). So now, it is full on freak out mode about her appearance and what would people think about her. I felt really sympathetic towards Sloane. It’s one thing to wear whatever you want by choice, it is another thing to lose all your hair with no choice. The internal struggle was so heartbreaking. This goes to show that every disease is heartbreaking and no one should undermine anyone’s struggles. I’ve seen many people always going to the “at least you don’t have cancer” statement. I don’t think people diagnosed with any ‘lesser’ disease take comfort in that.
Sloane has a great best friend and even Isaac is a much-needed support system. I really enjoyed Sloane’s voice, even though she was stubborn and kept this secret for such a long time. I acknowledged her struggles and I especially loved her dynamic relationship with her stepmother. I assumed she would be the typical evil stepmom but I was completely wrong. This reminded me that the books I read would always be subjective for one person, the main protagonist. It reminded me that I shouldn’t rush and judge people without really knowing them and seeing the story from their eyes. Overall I really enjoyed The Art of Getting Stared At and I hope more books like it will keep on getting written. (less)
I went into Midnight Thief thinking it is historical and heavy on the politics, assassination, revolution. The main protagonist is a thief.. she steal...moreI went into Midnight Thief thinking it is historical and heavy on the politics, assassination, revolution. The main protagonist is a thief.. she steals for a living. One day someone approaches her, the leader of the Assassin's Guild and basically hires her. I got so so excited because I thought I would be a part of the conspiracies and the planning and revolutionizing. I thought this book would be epic in the sense that the main protagonist will turn into an assassin (thinking of Throne of Glass) and because kick butt and overthrow the current oppressive ruling. Unfortunately, I was completely wrong. Midnight Thief might have started at that, but it took a totally different direction and through in supernatural elements that I just wasn't that fond of.
Kyra and Tristam.. the two POVs in this book. I just.. I liked Kyra and I actually thought it was just told from her POV but a couple of chapters in, Tristam's POV emerges.. I thought it was a bit too late and I just was already partially invested in Kyra. Also the way he was introduced.. and come to think of it, the way the whole plot and world were introduced was so sudden and without much background information, something I've started to need in order to really enjoy my books. So while I felt the author didn't deliver as much in that perspective, I have to say I loved Kyra's relationship with the kids. Being an orphan herself, she always looked out for the orphan kids on the street and it really warmed my heart.
Also, Midnight Thief was hard to stay interested in.. I felt the writing wasn't as engaging and, I agreed with someone's review when they wrote that there's a lot of telling and very little showing in the book. It was a bit of a let down because I expected this to be fantastic and I didn't like the direction the author took with the plot, as I mentioned earlier. So point is, don't expect an epic fantasy when you read this. I did and was disappointed. I have to give the author props for going completely off course with the plot but I just didn't want that or like it. Even though I had some issues with this book, I still enjoyed it, hence the 3 star rating. I might pick up the sequel because I want to know the direction the author will take but this all depends on the next book's synopsis for me. (less)
Love love loved it!!!!! This was addicting, I need more books with military settings. Great ending too! Leaves possibility for a sequel *crosses finger...moreLove love loved it!!!!! This was addicting, I need more books with military settings. Great ending too! Leaves possibility for a sequel *crosses fingers*
It's really hard for me to write this review and i've been putting it off because I find it really really hard to express my thoughts on a book I loved so much. However it's 12:40am right now and enough is enough, this review is getting written and I hope it does Rites of Passage justice.
Let me start off by writing that if you are a 90s kid and watched Disney, then you probably have seen the tv movie Cadet Kelly. This was one of my favorite movies because I was so fascinated by the military school and all the training and, yes I have to admit, all the cool clothes Hilary Duff wore. As soon as I found out Rites of Passage existed, I put it on my wish list and priority TBR. I'm mentioning this to let you know I had more than average expectations for it.. honestly? they were pretty high expectations. BUT, Rites of Passage didn't just meet them, but totally exceeded them all. Everything about this book was exciting, fast paced, and addicting. Everything was working for this book, starting with the unique setting and plot line. Sam is a military brat, what that means is that she grew up in a family of military people. In her case, her dad, and her two older brothers are in the military. However, one of her brothers is dead but before he passed away, he dared her to enroll at the DMA, short for the Denmark Military Academy. You see, the DMA finally *eye roll* opened up its doors to females. We are in the 21st century and women are still discriminated against. sheesh. Don't throw a party yet though because barely anyone is happy about this huge change at the prestigious military academy, because women are going to bring down your standards *snorts*. Anyways, Sam enrolls along with four other girls. The book opens up with her traveling in the car with her parents to the school. That chapter will hook you, I guarantee it. One of the welcome military upperclassmen tries to flirt with her before he knew who she was and he got burrrrrnt (her dad is very high up in the military).
Sam's attitude was what made most of this book for me. She's kick butt, brave, strong, smart, and an all around awesome person. She obviously knew what she was getting into by signing up at the DMA and she never once complaint, even through monologues, about how hard or unfair she was getting treated. And she was.. getting treated unfairly even compared to the girls. Ever heard of people trying too hard to NOT show favoritism but end up discriminating instead? yea that happened to her. The hazing and harsh treatment of some upperclassmen gets so bad I would wince sometimes during some scenes. Still, I loved her comradeship and her "never give up" attitude. The secret society mystery is also very interesting and I was on my toes trying to figure out what their next move is against the girls and their tries at kicking them out.
Lastly is the romance, and we hit the jackpot with this book! I've mentioned in earlier reviews how I've started to ignore the romances in YA books because many are cliches and made from the same typical mold? well, the romance in Rites of Passage breaks that mold *hallelujah*. I loved everything about the love interest, Drill, and ah, I had my own swoon moments thinking of him! Hensley never let the love interest become the typical YA savior. There was a sense of equality between him and Sam's relationship that I really appreciated. One thing I must mention is the ending. I know many people say it is too open ended to their liking since there isn't a sequel (as of yet, go buy the book!!), however I loved it. It gave me enough closure but at the same time, hinted at what is to come. The lives of people don't stop after the end of the book so it would seem weird that a corrupt secret society would get cleaned up and the people would get over their sexism. That hasn't even happened in the real world!
If you want a unique setting with a kick butt protagonist, a mystery, a secret society, hazings, and witnessing military training life, then Rites of Passage is just the book for you. I am already itching for a reread but I'm going to wait until my beautiful finished copy is in my possession before reading it again (hint: it is worth buying even though I've already read it). (less)
The Dark World is hardcore paranormal, creatures, slaying of creatures, war between creatures, and the key to everything, our main protagonist. I gene...moreThe Dark World is hardcore paranormal, creatures, slaying of creatures, war between creatures, and the key to everything, our main protagonist. I generally don't read these type of paranormal books but the synopsis captured my attention and I decided to request it. My one line review would be that The Dark World was a great novel but I found myself skipping paragraphs that bored me and wanting to get down to the main plot. You know I dislike the over use of descriptive paragraphs and we have a ton of those in this book. Also, I sometimes felt the fighting of the demons to be a bit unrealistic? Still, the characters were great. That is something I really enjoyed about the novel.
The main protagonist, her ghost friend, and the love interest. Other characters that are supposed to be good have me suspicious of what they'll be up to in the sequel. In terms of the plot, it is nothin unique, this is a typical paranormal plot but I hoped I'll find something unique about it that'll get revealed later in the novel but I didn't. Also, the romance initially was way too quick but they did win me over later on, something that doesn't happen often, still I cringe at some of the cliche words that were being swapped between each other. As you can see, i can barely make up my mind on whether I enjoyed the book more or disliked it more. I believe this is mainly subjective because I just don't usually read these type of paranormal novels. Lastly, the ending.. I know I'm supposed to be shocked at it or something but I'm not.. What I am is pissed off at the main protagonist for not thinking about her family. That is all I can say.
Basically if you love reading paranormal creature novels then I do suggest you pick it up but if you don't read them then I wouldn't recommend it. I obviously fall in the latter group. Schultz does have another paranormal series she's written and I wouldn't mind checking it out since I did like her writing, for the most part.(less)
I think this is more a 4.5/5 stars. Closer to a 4 than a 5, hence the 4 star rating
STILL! This book was SO GOOD! I couldn't peel myself away from it o...moreI think this is more a 4.5/5 stars. Closer to a 4 than a 5, hence the 4 star rating
STILL! This book was SO GOOD! I couldn't peel myself away from it once I reached the halfway mark. I love love loved the romance. Jessica Martinez finally chose the guy I would usually root for but never got the girl. Such a good book. Review to come! (less)